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Re: filmscanners: scanning/photoshop workstation (long)

I feel multiple processors are worthwhile in a power system so my last 
system was built with two PIIIs rather than one Athlon. 

Dual Athlons will be possible when the appropriate motherboard chipset 
comes out but it's still Real Soon Now!

I used an Abit VP6 motherboard which seems to be quite a bargain as far as 
dual CPU boards go. It has four DIMM slots allowing 2G of RAM (ECC if 
desired). I'm just using a gig myself :-)

It also has an integrated UDMA/100 RAID controller on the motherboard 
allowing up to 4 drives either as two pairs striped or mirrored, or as a 
four drive striped/mirrored set which is the way I'm using it.

peegee@btinternet.com (PAUL GRAHAM) wrote:

> Hi all,
> I've been researching for months about getting a medium format 
> workstation
> for my scanning work, and thought I'd just run it by the forum for 
> opinions,
> oversights, have my assumptions corrected, and perhaps even be some 
> help to
> others too.
> Basically the new 4000 dpi m/f scanners will output such large files 
> that
> handling them demands a new ball game in desktop systems: files of 500 
> to
> 700 Mb will be common at 4000 dpi, (in 16bit), and no doubt 6000 dpi 
> will
> come along soon for 35mm. If you do 5x4" - god help you.
> Processing power is not the problem, a high end Mac, P4 or AMD Athlon, 
> will
> all do the job well. All of these have enough power/ MHz. The issue 
> seems to
> be the memory handling of these large files:
> Now, the rule of thumb is that you need 3 to 5 times the RAM as your 
> file
> size for efficient PS handling, so... this means maximum RAM on the 
> machine:
> Max RAM for any programme in a Mac OS is 1Gb (out of 1.5 Gb on the 
> board)
> Max RAM in W 2K is 2Gb per programme (out of up to 4Gb)
> so this means... a Windows machine, until Mac get their motherboards
> upgraded.
> ok: from what I understand the max RAM controllable on a windows board 
> is
> set by the chipset, and of course, the physical number of memory slots
> present. Older chipsets/boards are pretty much the same as Mac's (3 
> memory
> slots (dimms), 1.5Gb controllable) But there are now motherboards out 
> there
> now that have new chipsets (3 or 4 Gb controllable) and 4 memory slots, 
> so 2
> Gb is can easily be dedicated to Photoshop alone.
> Newer DDR memory boards (latest Athlon systems) are also out there with 
> 3 or
> 4 slots, as are P4 boards, with Rambus memory RIMMS, but... this memory 
> is
> very expensive, with a 512Mb stick being about $800 in DDR compared to 
> only
> $170 currently in the older SDRAM. so.. if you are buying four of these 
> (to
> make 2Gb) then you can save literally thousands of $ by not buying the
> latest memory types, losing maybe a few % performance. Or put another 
> way,
> you can have 2Gb of SDRAM for the price of 500 Mb or DDR RAM.
> It seems a new style Athlon SDRAM board with 4 slots is the way to go 
> for
> best bang per buck at present.
> (Incidentally, 1 Gb sticks are much more reasonable than they were - but
> this means they are now $1400 rather than $6000.... so forget about 
> them.
> They are also only available in the older SDRAM format anyway)
> Whatever happens obviously you are going to run out of RAM eventually, 
> and
> be writing to the hard drive... so fast hard drives are essential, and 
> seems to be coming in as the new standard for all workstations. That 
> is, in
> its simplest performance mode, writing/reading your data across two or 
> more
> drives (stripping, or RAID 0), which gives dramatic speed improvements 
> and
> memory handling, apparently. This used to be SCSI territory, but now ATA
> RAID (for regular drives) is common, and RAID controllers are included 
> on
> many windows motherboards, so it is just the cost of the extra drive.
> (cheap).
> so, you could get two good IBM 75 Gb drives, which makes 150 Gb of 
> stripped
> UDMA memory for about $600 ($300 x2).
> SCSI RAID would be faster still, but this, for 150 Gb, would be $1800 
> ($900
> x2) plus a controller $250, (though sometimes even SCSI RAID is 
> included on
> high end boards) - pricey, but possible for a very quick system, or as a
> substitute for lower RAM.
> (Incidentally, you can get an ATA RAID card for Mac's too, but they 
> don't
> push it as Mac would rather sell you SCSI for high $. This could make 
> the
> MAC system workable with only 1 Gb photoshop memory, for not too many $
> extra)
> So that is where I am at, and about to spend my hard earned dosh.
> Sorry if this is geek-speek to some, but others will (hopefully) point 
> out
> some mistakes or oversights in my thinking, and advise another way...
> please.
> I know this sounds crazy high-end stuff, but I really think its coming 
> in
> thick and fast... there will be plenty more pro-photographers out there
> doing this same m/f scanning, and all coming up against these issues.
> regards to all,
> paul


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